MC Dental Know your Handpieces (Maintenance)


It is an unfortunate fact that a large portion of handpieces are not maintained in the correct way. Manufacturer’s instructions may not make for an interesting read for even the most dedicated of handpiece enthusiasts, but they provide often valuable information. You can save thousands of pounds in the life time of your equipment or even help prevent your equipment being resigned to the scrapheap long before that time is due. Read them cover to cover, however painful it may be!

Failure to ensure that staff undertake basic daily maintenance procedures will, by default, void any future warranty claim should it be found that such omissions are the primary cause of the handpiece breakdown, i.e. lack of oil which causes bearings to seize or malfunction at high speeds. Please remember that an experienced engineer will easily be able to identify poor maintenance and lack of care. Listed below are basic rules, which should be followed to help alleviate such problems.


  • Remove the handpiece from the dirty.
  • Ensure all the burs and couplings are removed.

*If using a thermo/washer disinfector, now is the time to place handpieces in. Make sure the handpiece is compatible before doing so and ensure the pH level of the cleaning solution is between 2.5 & 10.5. Always make sure the rinse cycle is activated on every use.

  • Any debris is to be wiped off using a non-alcoholic disinfectant wipe. DO NOT place the handpiece under or submerge in water and scrub for any reason!
  • You can now dry any excess detergent from the handpiece with a dry tissue.


  • Select the oil can from the DIRTY side with the correct adaptor for the handpiece you want to lubricate.
  • Shake the can well before attached the handpiece and holding securely to the oil adaptor.
  • Spray for 1-2 seconds into a tissue or face downwards into a sink until the oil comes through clear.

*Please note, if oil comes through the handpiece head and has a brown discolouration, continue to spray the handpiece 2 more times until it comes through clear. If it doesn’t come through clear after 3 sprays, send it off for a service. This discolouration is due to a rusting issue. If oil comes through the head of the handpiece and has a black discolouration, continue with the remainder of the sterilisation process and send the handpiece for a service before it can be used again.


  • Please your handpiece in the autoclave ensuring you have selected the correct cycle and you have checker that your autoclave does not surpass 138°C.

*If a drying cycle is not being used then make sure that the handpieces are removed from the autoclave as soon as the cycle finishes.


  • Wearing new clean gloves, remove the handpieces from the autoclave and select the CLEAN oil can with the CORRECT adaptor.
  • Remove any external moisture using a clean dry tissue.
  • Secure the handpiece onto the adaptor and spray for 1-2 seconds until oil emerges from the head.
  • Once equipment has been oiled and dried externally, package the item and store in a safe place where it can not be damaged accidentally.

You can find maintenance documentation from individual manufacturers here.

We hope you’ve found this series of posts regarding what you need to know when choosing a handpiece both useful and informative. If you feel you need more advice or wish to discuss any of the literature we have provided you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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